There is evidence that a form of golf was played by the Dutch during their period of occupation of the island between 1656 & 1796. But it was the British who brought golf, as we know- it to the island was played in the 1860’s or even earlier on the Galle Face Green the birth place of other British sports including cricket, horse racing and football.
Along the military and plantation roads which radiated from Colombo all over the island organized sport also traveled. Golf courses were constructed in Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Galle , Ratnapura, Diyatalawa, Bandarawela, Radella, Kelany Valley, the Agras, Badulla and played in Jaffna round the fort and even in Anuradhapura where instead of bunkers the hazards were ancient monoliths & ruined temple pillars.
Even after the last world war, there were a number of flourishing golf courses in the island including three in Colombo. At the present, however, there are only three Championship courses, the Royal Colombo and Nuwara Eliya Golf Clubs, and the recently constructed Victoria Golf Club off Kandy.
With the booming tourist trade, the golf acknowledged as the fastest growing sport in the world there are plans to build more golf courses.
Sri Lanka has a total of four 18 hole championship courses. Including Nuwara Eliya Golf Club, with two in the suburbs of Colombo, one in Kandy and our classic course in Nuwara eliya it is a wonderful golfing round trip – with just a few hours driving between them.